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Viva Vision is the very heart and soul of the downtown Vegas Fremont Street Experience. It's a light and sound extravaganza just recently updated with the latest in LED and sound technology. It will literally blow your socks off! Viva Vision begins when the sun goes down -- the perfect time to party anywhere in Vegas. Several shows alternate every half-hour, beginning at sundown (about 8:00 or 8:30 in the summer) and running through midnight.
The Fremont Street Experience is a fantastic encounter, but it might not be appealing to every Vegas visitor. Many locals object to the large canopy, saying it covers up the long-standing view of Vegas casinos and hotels. If you look hard enough, you may notice most films and television shows shot in Vegas revert to the old, uncovered views of Fremont Street in their long shots. For some, the sound may be too loud, and some of the musical numbers may not be their favorite. Small children might come away frightened, as the entire experience can be a little bit overwhelming with all the motion, sound, light, and action. Be warned, a couple of the shows are also a bit on the adult side, so you might want to leave the kids with the babysitter when you view "Downtown Divas" and "Fahrenheit at Night."
The Fremont Street Experience is a all-encompassing experience for young and old. It blends the downtown area together under a fantastic five-block long canopy housing a pedestrian mall, shopping, eateries, and entertainment for the entire family. Ten casinos line the walkway, along with over 60 restaurants, two live performance stages and a movie theater. Every month an entire array of free and low-cost events take place on Fremont Street, and the Viva Vision light and sound display is free every day! Fast Fremont Facts: * Experience opened in 1995 *Cost $70 million * New $17 million digital display system * 90-foot canopy with LED technology and surround sound * Contains 12.5 MILLION bulbs * Variety of nightly shows beginning at dusk * Updated in 2004 *World's largest LED display system.
When the Las Vegas Strip was still a gleam in Bugsy Segal's eye, Fremont Street was alive and thriving in downtown Las Vegas. In fact, Fremont was the first street paved in Las Vegas, and the Northern Club on Fremont was the first legal gambling parlor in the city in 1931. When neon signs became de rigor in the 1940s, all the gambling places on Fremont installed them, leading to the long time Vegas nickname "Glitter Gulch." In the early years of Vegas gambling, the best, in fact the only, casinos were downtown on Fremont Street. Names like the Golden Nugget and the Fremont Hotel/Casino were synonymous with Vegas, gambling, and entertainment. Legendary Las Vegas resident and entertainer Wayne Newton opened at the Fremont in 1956, and he's been playing Vegas ever since. Many tourists only see the Strip during their visit, but a visit downtown is a step back in time, with some futuristic entertainment thrown in!
Neonopolis is an integral part of the entire Fremont Street development. Centered around a 14-screen theater complex, Neonopolis also houses restaurants, shops, video arcades, a bowling alley, and offices. Neonopolis is located right on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard (the Strip) and Fremont Street, so it fits in nicely with the entire downtown Experience. The Pedestrian Mall created when the five-block long canopy went up is now a favorite venue for locals and visitors. When Viva Vision isn't mesmerizing the crowd, they can shop 'til they drop at a variety of shops, kiosks, and souvenir shops sprinkled among the casinos and restaurants. There's no getting around it, downtown Las Vegas is hot and cool at the same time at the Fremont Street Experience!
The best audience for the Fremont Street Experience depends on the show, really. The "American Freedom" show is a patriotic look at America, and everyone can enjoy it. The new "Above and Beyond: The Sky's the Limit" is a tribute to space and aviation, and should be another crowd pleaser that any age will enjoy. Some of the other shows are louder and more adult in nature, and may not work for the faint of heart or the tourist who doesn't appreciate blasting rock and roll. Some of the shows may be a little bit too adult for young children, too. So, find out when each show is playing at Fremont Street and plan your visit accordingly.
The Fremont Street Experience opened in 1995, and Viva Vision was upgraded in 2004. The LED and sound is much superior to the old version, and really brought the Experience into the world of high-definition action and adventure. The old technology was good, but the new technology is over the top, so to speak! It's a lot more of what today's tech-savvy tourists are looking for. The upgrade went from two million bulbs to 12.5 million lights, so the detail is far more accurate and downright amazing! The animations are amazingly lifelike, and the Vision even features live video feeds of news shows, and a 550,000 watt sound system created to synchronize with all the action happening overhead. There's no doubt about it, the new technology is worth the trip to view the Fremont Street Experience!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|